Skip to main content

tv   MSNBC Live  MSNBC  November 28, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST

8:00 am
mitt romney will have a private lunch with president obama tomorrow. it will be their first face-to-face meeting since the election and oh, to be a fly on the wall. makes you wonder if they'll be talking about this, the austerity crisis, better known as the fiscal cliff facing washington and the country. this hour president obama will speak live at the white house flanked by middle-class families whose household budgets depend on congress reaching a deal by january 1st. his latest effort to use his bully pulpit. nearby on capitol hill, both parties are meeting behind closed doors at this very minute. each side hashing out where they are willing to compromise and where they are drawing the line in the sand. the other big story we're watching for you, a second round of sitdowns for united nations ambassador susan rice, who's in an all-out campaign of her own to face her critics. after three republicans issued blistering comments yesterday, this morning rice is meeting with republican senator susan collins of maine and in an hour is expected to meet with senator bob corker of tennessee.
8:01 am
rice's harshest krit eks are still vowing to block her potential nomination as next secretary of state. >> i think everybody gets to, one, be nominated, and, two, go through the hearings and the debate and discussion. but right now i would be very hard-press hard-pressed. >> what they're suging is that she said things for political reasons three weeks before the election. >> what's the long game, willy? what are they doing? this doesn't help the republican party. >> that is the big question. what is the long game? let's dig down. we have our wednesday political power panel, msnbc contributor joanne reed, managing editor for the gree owe, msnbc contributor arty melbourne, also a cords for the nation, and republican strategist chip salzman. great to have all three of you here. a lot to talk about. chip, a lot of people scratching their heads over some of the strong opposition to ambassador rice who hasn't even been nominated as secretary of state. listen to what senator john barrasso had to say moments ago
8:02 am
with chris jansing in the last hour. >> i think that she misled the american people five days after a terrorist attack. it happened, killed four brave americans, and really either didn't know what she houf known, failed to ask the questions. >> chip, here we have the fact that the senators are still upset about this. so breaking news from the senatorial department of redoesn't dandy department that they're upset with her. what is the real agenda here? what is the baseline for what they're trying to do? >> i think the most interesting thing is what you said, she has yet to be nominated. this might be the ultimate trial balloon by the obama administration to put somebody out they know is going to encounter a lot of resistance up front and then whoever they nominate if it's not her is going to have a pretty easy sail through the confirmation, john kerry or somebody like that. it's unusual somebody we don't know is going to be nominated is working the u.s. senate this
8:03 am
hard. is this an ultimate political genius move by the obama white house? are they thinking they're going to take this into a fight for senate confirmation? >> day two of this pr campaign to face the critics on the hill. senator corker is who we're going to have the opportunity to -- rice will have the opportunity to meet with him at noon. in advance of today's meeting, "she always delivers the party line, the company line, whatever the talking points are." is this an example, though, of rice facing critics -- explain the type of diplomacy she would need to display if she's going to go into negotiations with china? it's different than, you know, facing your foes on the hill when you're facing those from a different country. >> right. i think frankly it's inexplicable on the republican side. i do think this is a prelude probably to rice being nominated. and i really don't see how the republicans would stop her from getting the jom nation. nomination. i think the idea that the
8:04 am
republicans are trying to predestroy her nomination to get somebody more favor nl, john kerry, the name floated out there, it's a very machiavellian idea. i think it's gaining some currency. the opposition to her is kind of inexplicable. an administration official placed on a sunday show to talk about an event, that's what john mccain does. are they saying she should have given the unclassified version of the report she was given by the cia? then that would have been criticized. >> you're unfit because you're imparting secrets. >> exactly. >> rice was able to win over someone, joe lieberman. take a listen. >> i would not feel that her appearances and anything she said on those sunday morning talk shows september 16th would disqualify her for appointment to any other office.
8:05 am
>> leishman in the context, he's retiring, he's not going to be around to vote on this. but is he signaling for other democrats basically that she has a clear path if her name does come up for nomination? >> i think that's right. joe lieberman is conservative, a hawk, respected by some senators on foreign policy issues. there may be three republican senators who don't like her, another 97 who have votes, the house members who have been campaigning against her don't have votes. something chip said, it would be weird or odd for this process to be playing out if she is not going to be nominated as secretary of state. chip, it shows i think a real political premise on your part, and i think unfortunately shared by so much of your party here, she's a cabinet-level foreign policy person. so if you're serious about any of these issues, it shouldn't matter whether she's nominated or not. you should care about the substance of it. secondly, you and your party come to this debate with big deficit because you and president bush and dick cheney
8:06 am
lied this country into war and you had a lot of lies on foreign policy about wmds. president bush even said once in may 2003 that we found the wmds in iraq. dick cheney and condoleezza rice talked about links to al qaeda in iraq. you've never made up for those huge, serious, significant lies in the arena of foreign policy. and now you're picking apart, you know, basically the very early and ultimately not misleading with regard to foreign policy decisions, statements that this diplomat made. >> one thing we're learning right now the meeting with ambassador rice and senator corker is happening as we speak so a little earlier than that noontime appointment. but the one thing we heard also from senator barrasso in the last hour was john considerry's name floated out and it would be easier for him to sail through. you had the opportunity to work with john kerry before. >> sure. >> when we hear about this, is that really what the game, as
8:07 am
joy-ann said, this machiavellian game, basically let's get kerry in this position and then scott brown could take over his seat, run for that seat in massachusetts, we get scott brownbach in? >> this is a little delicate because i know so many people involved. this is what i'll tell you from what i have heard. i have heard senator kerry stands ready to serve and is interested. i have heard from people close to white house that president obama strongly believes in susan rice and is leaning towards selecting her. i think he'd be happy with either of them because they're such strong foreign policy people. but what i've heard at this point in time subject to change is they are serious absusan rice. there isn't a big head fake here at this point. >> chip, to ari's point about the fact that rice is at a deficit going after ambassador rice on such an attack, such shaky ground, is it completely irrational what they're doing with ayotte and graham and mccain coming out to talk about the fact that they're meeting with ambassador rice leaves them scratching their heads and with more questions? of course people want more
8:08 am
answers to what happened in benghazi, but it's not up to ambassador rice. she's not fronting the investigation. >> no, but she's been part of that team that went on those sunday shows to talk act those issues to say it was a video that caused this. whether it was the talking points or the intelligence, she's the one in front of the tv cameras that said this. this is an audition to be the country's top diplomat. she's going into a hostile group, we would want her to have a better relationship after, not worse. she had three senators she knew she wasn't in a great relationship with. they seemed to be more open to her over the weekend. she went into a meeting and made it worse. regardless of what you think about susan rice -- >> were they really going to listen to her and come out and be, like, oh, god, we love susan rice now? i don't think that was ever going to be the backside of that meeting. >> no. but i've known senator mccain for a long time. he's never on talking points. he always talks about what he believes and what he thinks.
8:09 am
i've seen him go into those meetings where he's walked out and said i'm still not for her but not as against her as i was. apparently they didn't find a whole lot to agree with in that meeting. if she's auditioning to be the top diplomat, i would hope they'd come out better. >> she did request the meetings. >> right. >> not as if they called her up there. >> no question about that. she's pushing these meetings, the one asking for these meetings. like i said, if this is auditioning to be our top diplomat, what that's what these meetings are about -- >> sometimes you go into meetings in diplomacy and you do come out aggressively because some foreign countries aren't our allies and aren't going to be. >> no question. >> as far as she can tell, john mccain doesn't seem like an alloy so it was a tough meeting. that's fine. >> joy-ann, last word. >> john mccain is driven by his resentments and his piques. the idea when he was beaten by george w. bush suddenly he became the thorn in bush's side. he has seemed to be driven by
8:10 am
his personal animus towards barack obama president obama in his policy pronouncements. i have no belief that john mccain went into that meeting and wanted to come out with a fair assessment. that's his political calculation. the other thing for the republican party is look who they put out there to talk about their opposition to rice. they had to throw kelly ayotte out there with no foreign policy experience because even they understand going after this woman, going after this -- another african-american official in the obama white house, i know it's unpopular to say, but they seem to have a pattern that isn't helpful politically so i don't see what the margin is. >> senator ayotte has political m a bigg ambition. >> and she's a woman. >> our power panel, my thanks to all three of you. we are waiting for remarks from president obama who is expected to speak from the white house within the half hour. the president surrounded by middle-class americans as he intends to build up his support to avert the impending fiscal
8:11 am
cliff. >> the mandate that the president has, and i think he said this after the election, is to protect the middle class and help people enter and stay in the middle class. >> mitch mcconnell once again blasted the president for what he called campaigning. >> the election's over. he won. congratulations. we've got a hard deadline here, however. and it's still -- he's still out on the campaign trail kind of celebratin celebrating. this is a problem. if the president really wants to reach an agreement, he needs to be talking with the members of his own party right here in washington trying to broker an agreement not out there firing up crowds and giving speeches. >> joining me now is new york democratic congressman steve israel. sir, great to have you with us. mitch mcconnell saying the president should be speaking to members of his own party. interestingly enough, moments ago we heard from someone within
8:12 am
mitch mcconnell's party, speaker john boehner, saying he thinks a deal is possible. take a listen. >> it's time for the president and democrats to get serious about the spending problem that our country has. but i'm optimistic. >> he's optimistic. we also have boehner saying he is disagreeing with tom cole, one of the few republicans who have come out to usual his party to strike a deal. right now, get this done. keeping the bush tax cults for 98% of americans, give up on keeping tax cuts low for the wealthy, 2%. take a listen to what cole on capitol hill had to say moments ago. >> in my view, we all agree that we're not going to raise taxes on people who make less than $250,000. we should take them out of this discussion right now and continue to fight against any rate increase, continue to try to work honestly for a much bigger deal. >> has the tipping point been reached, sir? is the compromise in front of us right now because so many republicans are willing to talk
8:13 am
act revenue? >> well, look. tom cole, who is a friend of mine, was the former chairman of the republican congressional campaign committee. i am the current chairman of the democratic congressional campaign committee. anytime you can get the former republican congressional campaign committee chair and the current democratic congressional committee democratic chair to agree on something, do it, pass it. tom cole is right. this is why people are frustrated with washington. everybody on capitol hill agrees on this fact at least, that we should continue tax cuts for the first $250,000 in income for all middle class american. i happen to think it should be a little above. some people think it should be much higher. the fact is we all agree it should be at least $250,000. let's just get that done. let's get done what we can get done. and where there are areas that will take a little more time, a little more negotiation, a little more compromise, we can get to those things.
8:14 am
tom cole is right, and we just had an election that was a referendum on compromise, consensus, and solutions. we can get a compromise. we have consensus. at least $250,000 in income for tax cuts is a solution that everybody agrees on. let's do it. >> the words that mitch mcconnell used basically calling the president out campaigning a pr blitz to the american people, does this prove, though, with the president doing something like this and getting americans involved and to understand what this means and through the election it certainly was discussed debated, highly talked about, if he was going to stay in office, the fact taxes would be raised, is this building the groundswell behind him that this will get done? >> the president is defending the middle class. he ran on a clear position that he supported tax cuts for the middle class, we have to rebuild the middle class. he's continuing what he said and is trying to act on it. mitch mcconnell is also being
8:15 am
consistent. i'll at least give him this for consistency. he began four years ago saying his job was to defeat barack obama, not create jobs for other americans but to take president obama's job away from him. he's at least being consistent in his partisanship and obstructionism. this election was a referendum to stop the partisanship and begin progress. to stop the obstructionism and to begin to create compromise. that's what we want to do. >> real quickly, though, talking about obstructionism, i've said several times here it seems people are coming back to congress with the same cement feet that they left with prior to the election. but one thing that's interesting is with grover norquist and the anti-tax pledge, over 90% of republicans have signed that pledge, but so many are now speaking out about it. this morning in a breakfast with politico, mike allen was talking to grover norquist about this and grover norquist responded saying certain republicans are having impure thoughts about the fact that they would go ahead and break that pledge.
8:16 am
take a listen to part of that breakfast meeting. >> i sounds like republicans are less afraid of you now. are you like frosty? are you melting, losing your power before our very eyes? >> no. two things are both fictions. one is the scenario that republicans were afraid of americans for tax reform and me personally and they took the pledge because i told them to. that's colbert territory, that's harry reid, that's what they say. that's nonsense. people take the pledge. the reason why most republicans and a handful of democrats take the pledge is that they don't intend to raise taxes. >> wouldn't it be good if our leaders were not signing pledges like this and actually voted with what their stilts wanted? >> absolutely. yeah. it would be good. it's funny what an election will do. a lot of republicans are seeing the handwriting on the wall instead of the handwriting on a pledge. they'll realize this election in november was not about upholding your pledge to grover norquist. it was about upholding your
8:17 am
responsibility to protect the middle class. i'm glad more and more republicans are recognizing the need to join democrats in compromise and consensus. we want deficit reduction that is big, bold, but balanced. as long as more republicans can agree with us on that we're willing to compromise with them and meet them halfway. >> sir, real quickly while i have you, it was announced in the last hour that the president is going to be hosting mitt romney for a private luncheon at the white house tomorrow. your reaction to that in light of that campaign finance call to supporters of mitt romney where he disbasically doubled down on the 47% remark? >> i think it's important for the president to reach out to as many people as possible. i didn't agree with mitt romney on much but some ideas he had were intriguing. i'm glad the president is reaching out to him and unifying america. we all need to stand behind the middle class and see where we can agree and act on that agreement. >> steve israel, great to have you on with us this morning. >> thanks. >> we have more heavy hitters coming up on the fiscal cliff on msnbc throughout the next day.
8:18 am
next hour on "now" with alex wagner, she'll speak with senator patty murray. at 1:00 p.m., debt commission co-chair allan simpson joins andrea mitchell. e your jaw drop? campbell's has 24 new soups that will make it drop over, and over again. ♪ from jammin' jerk chicken, to creamy gouda bisque. see what's new from campbell's. it's amazing what soup can do. now we need a little bit more... [ male announcer ] at humana, we understand the value of quality time and personal attention. which is why we are proud to partner with health care professionals who understand the difference that quality time with our members can make... that's a very nice cake! ohh! [ giggles ] [ male announcer ] humana thanks the physicians, nurses, hospitals, pharmacists and other health professionals who helped us achieve the highest average star rating among national medicare companies... and become the first and only
8:19 am
national medicare advantage company to achieve a 5-star rating for a medicare plan... your efforts result in the quality of care and service we're able to provide... which means better health outcomes... and more quality time to share with the ones who matter most. i love you, grandma! [ male announcer ] humana. ♪
8:20 am
8:21 am
welcome back, everybody. this is where the president will be speaking moments from now from the white house surrounded by middle-class americans, an attempt by the president to continue building support for his plan to avert the fiscal cliff. developing now, new clashes in cairo, egypt today, between protesters and police. the protesters have been demanding that egypt's new president rescind the decree he had last thursday granting him absolute power.
8:22 am
tens of thousands of protesters rallied in caikacairo's tahrir square. two of e jim's top courts today suspended their work in protest of president mohamed morsi's decr decree. joining me to talk more about the middle east is ambassador dennis ross, an expert on the region. he was the chief middle east negotiate for president clinton and president bush and served as a special adviser for president obama. he is a mideast analyst. both supporters and opponents are planning more giant protests on friday as well as sad. what's your assessment of the situation and the back and forth between the two sides? >> well, i think what we're seeing is is that this is a new egypt. anybody who thought that president morsi could come in and act like president mubarak and could rule as opposed to govern, there's no doubt that's
8:23 am
not the case. there's no doubt he miscalculated. he thought in the aftermath of brokering a ceasefire between israel and hamas, that gave him a new standing internationally, gave him new stature in the region, and it did and he could somehow use that to convert it into new power within egypt himself. what he's finding is in fact the new egypt is an egypt where people feel that their voices matter and that there's not going to be a new ruler. there's going to need to be a president who governs and he who governs is going to have to govern recognizing and respecting checks and balances. >> certainly democracy is a very slow process and certainly for a country that's never had it before. we'll be watching the this for a generation or more to come. but you mentioned the fact that morsi fell emboldened after brokering the deal between gaza and israel. as we speak of middle east peace, president mahmoud abbas met in new york with the deputy secretary of state william burns ahead of tomorrow's historic u.n. general assembly vote on palestinian statehood. the resolution, though, would
8:24 am
upgrade the palestinian authority's u.n. status from observer to a nonmember observer state. it is expected to be approved. israel strongly opposes the bid. the person representing the u.s. will be ambassador susan rice who currently is facing a lot of heat over the statements she made about the benghazi attack. will the fire she's facing in washington impact her role in this delicate diplomatic dance at the u.n.? >> i don't think so. these are two different issues. she reps the united states at the u.n., i don't think anybody questions the fact she reps the united states when she's up there. she serves as the president's envoy up there. her standing there is not affected by what's going on here at all. i think what is -- what you see is questions that still exist about benghazi and libya, and i think those will be sorted out. i mean, the end of the day, you know, the fact is what's going on in libya is something that we all have an interest in trying
8:25 am
to manage and shape. there was a lot of uncertainty at the time of the attack on the consulate and the loss of our ambassador there. so questions are being asked, but i hope they're in the context of what happened in the past as a way of better understanding what we might do in libya, better understanding what are the lessons we might draw in terms of providing security in places like libya where the circumstances are quite unclear, where the local government doesn't have a monopoly on the means of power and where therefore the kind of rules and approaches that we take on security probably have to look a little different than they might be in other circumstances. >> ambassador ross, thank you so much. we want to go now to susan collins from maine, senator susan collins, speaking after her meeting with ambassador rice. >> -- with ambassador rice. i still have many questions that remain unanswered.
8:26 am
i continue to be troubled by the fact that the u.n. ambassador decided to play what was eventually a political role at the height of the contentious presidential election campaign by agreeing to go on the sunday shows to present the administration's position. in addition, it is interesting to me that ambassador rice emphasized in her presentation not that this was a terrorist attack by al queda affiliates but rather that it had begun with a protest that we now know was nonexistent and that it was linked to a video which we also know is not accurate.
8:27 am
at the time that ambassador rice made these assertions, there was conflicting evidence that it's true. bewe had the president of libya saying that 50 people had been arrested, that people -- terrorists from other countries had come to libya, and that the attack was premeditated and planned. i asked ambassador rice why she did not qualify her comments more in light of this contradictory reporting from the president of the country. her answer was that she relied on our intelligence analysis. i don't understand why she would not have at least qualified her response to that question. i'm also very troubled by the fact that we seem not to have
8:28 am
learned from the 1998 bombings of two of our embassies in africa at the time when ambassador rice was the assistant secretary for african affairs. those bombings in 1998 resulted in the loss of life of 12 americans as well as many other foreign nationals and 4,000 people were injured. and what troubles me so much is the benghazi attack in many ways echos the attacks on those embassies in 1998 when susan rice was head of the african region for our state department. in both cases, the ambassador
8:29 am
begged for additional security. the ambassador to kenya centre peted messages to the state department requesting a stronger facility because of the increased threat. and those requests, as in the case of benghazi, were turned down by the state department. i asked ambassador rice what her role was. she said that she would have to refresh her memory but that she was not involved directly in turning down the requests. but surely, given her position as assistant secretary for african affairs, she had to be aware of the general threat assessment and of the ambassador's repeated requests for more security. ambassador rice said near the beginning of our session that
8:30 am
she felt the real issue here was the protection of our people and our facilities. and i agree. and that's why her actions and whether or not lessons were learned from the 1998 attacks on our assembly -- on our embassies in africa, are important questions. and i have asked for additional information there. another eerie echo is that this administration has pointed out repeatedly that there was not a specific warning of a specific attack on benghazi. instead, there was just an increased level of the threat in the region. once again in 1998 when you read the accountable review board
8:31 am
report, they say that washington and headquarters underestimated the threat to our people in africa. so these are issues i believe deserve further investigation and remain troubling to me. [ inaudible question ] >> i would need to have additional information before i could support her nomination. she's not been posted yet. our homeland security committee investigation is ongoing. there are many different players in this, and there's much yet to be learned. so i think it would be premature for me to reach that judgment now. >> your chairman came out just a little while ago and said he asked the same questions and got the same answers and
8:32 am
[ inaudible ]. >> well, i didn't sit in on his briefing so i don't know that the exchanges were the same. [ inaudible question ] i think john kerry would be an excellent appointment and would be easily confirmed by his colleagues. >> senator, we have to go. i'm sorry. she'll be back this afternoon to answer further questions, but she has a meeting to attend. >> senator susan collins addressing reporters after her meeting this morning with ambassador susan rice on the hill. the ambassador is now taking her second meeting today with senator bob corker of tennessee. that meeting started roughly as we've been informed at the top of the hour. but susan collins coming out from her meeting with ambassador rice with questions over why the ambassador chose to go on the
8:33 am
sunday talk shows in a political role and talk about what happened in benghazi. apparently, the ambassador referring to the conflicting evidence that was provided to her before going on those shows, and susan collins basically blaming ambassador rice for the bad intelligence that she then was telling people on the sunday talk shows. mike viqueira is standing by at the white house for us. mike, really interesting to hear how the senators who have had the opportunity to meet with ambassador rice then come out and they seem to be more troubled but they already knew that this was bad intelligence because hindsight being 20/20 we know a lot more now. >> well, you know, if the president does, indeed, intend to nominate susan rice, the current u.n. ambassador, to replace hillary clinton at the state department, this certainly is a bad omen, a bad sign for that ambition. while susan collins, the senator from maine, of course, she is a
8:34 am
republican, no red-meat republican, tom. this is of course one of the three senators, republican senators, who voted for the stimulus package in 2009. so she's not queueing any kind of party line. while she's not expressly saying she would not vote for confirmation, she said she needs additional information, ongoing investigation, and she talked about what she called those eerie echos from the 1998 attacks in nairobi and salaam, those terrorist attacks when susan rice was an assistant secretary for african affair, talking about some of the same warning signs that were missed. so a bad sign for susan rice and her prospective support in the senate, which, of course, would have to confirm any nomination that the president sent up, thomas. >> mike, interesting enough, when susan collins talks about the fact there was more security requests sent for libya and she wants ono why those requests might have been not taken so seriously, nothing comes up about the fact that the
8:35 am
republican congress cut the security budget for diplomatic security in 2011 and in 2012. doesn't that seem odd that they don't bring up the fact that they didn't -- >> reporter: i think it also goes back to the bush administration, as well. yeah, this is a point democrats have made over and over again. i think republicans are focusing on not exactly what happened in terms of the budget, of course, but what happened and why susan rice appeared on "meet the press" and those other sunday shows. we've heard over and over again the intelligence community, there was son fusion there whether it was the dni or the cia that ultimately removed the observation or the judgment that they had that there was a terrorist involvement. and susan rice went on to of course recruit their talking points on those sunday shows. the question that lindsey graham and others have is, well, she had access to this classified information, why, in fact, did she choose to put forward that narrative about the protest that turned out not to be true? that is a central issue here and
8:36 am
what susan collins and others have been focusing on. >> last but not least, the question posed to the senator was about john kerry and whether he would be more suitable in the secretary of state role and susan collins basically giving a ringi ining endorsement saying confirmation would be much easier. senator barrasso talked about the fact he thinks john kerry would have a sailing time getting through confirmation hearings for that role. is this a transparent attempt to get john kerry in that role so the seat opens up in massachusetts for scott brown? >> reporter: i don't know if it's that transparent, and there's some talk that scott brown would forgo his senate bid in order to run for governor there. i think obviously that's part of the calculation. i don't think there's any doubt about that, thomas. >> let's talk act what we are waiting for now. the president is going to be addressing people from the auditorium of the white house. we can show everybody the shot we're waiting on right there. talking about the fiscal cliff as he takes the case to the american people kind of getting this groundswell of support that
8:37 am
he can then take to our elected leaders to say, hey, the american people are on board, why aren't you. what is the sense or the behind-the-scenes talk because mitch mcconnell and others on the right are saying this is just a pr blitz, a campaigning event. >> in a sense we really are in the preliminary stages, tom. this is all about moving votes. this is a classic pr campaign. the people that are in the audience today, average americans who would be impacted by a hike in middle-class tax rates due to take effect on january 1st, are people that wrote e-mails into the white house. after this, there's a twitter campaign for people with a certain hashtag the white house has put forward for people to get on twitter and talk about the same issue. the president, where is he going on friday behind this effort? to those collar counties around philadelphia, the classic kind of swing, purple counties, many of them remitted by republicans in the house of representatives although he will be in allison schwartz's district, a democrat from montgomery county outside philadelphia.
8:38 am
but this is a classic campaign, all about moving votes, thomas. we're not going to see anything concrete on this. in a couple weeks he sees more ceos. and to show that politics and elections do have consequences after all, some of these ceos, frank blake from home depot, the ceo of the marriott corporation, these are individuals that were actively supporting mitt romney's candidacy, and mitt romney, of course, thomas, and i'm sure you'll get to this, we'll see him around these parts tomorrow. at least he'll be here. we won't see him. >> so good, mike viqueira. mitt romney, broke in the 10:00 hour, he'll have a lunch date at the white house tomorrow. do we know what the soup of the day is yet? >> reporter: not yet. we'll check with "the daily rundown" and chuck todd. right in the corner is the private dining room of the residence, of the white house. mitt romney will be here. something that president obama spoke of on election night in his victory speech in chicago, talked about getting together with mitt romney, a lot of speculation about when that would happen, whether it would
8:39 am
be part of this campaign. we do know that this is a closed press event. we don't expect to see these two principals, these two former foes together at any point during the day. of course that could change. we really don't know. but he will be here for a private luncheon with the president tomorrow, thomas. >> do you think they'll exchange christmas gifts? >> i don't know. maybe that wine reserve -- well, maybe not wine reserve. it is mitt romney, after all. he does not drink. >> good point. >> i don't know. >> no beer summit on the horizon between those two. >> no white house home brew. >> mike viqueira at the white house for us, thanks so much. just moments away from the president's remarks. the big question is will his stance on the fiscal cliff matter to congress as both sides still try to broker a deal away from the edge. msnbc contributor jimy williams joins us from our d.c. bureau with more. good to have you with me. does this press event signal to all the parties involved the type of tone that the president really wants to strike today to those people that he's trying to get the votes from, that basically the american people
8:40 am
support this? this is what he ran on and got re-elected. >> we know by the exit polling and other post election polling that in fact the american people are on board with this theory of economic fairness. now, the question becomes what's the president going to do about it? well, we're about to find out. he's going straight to the american people and actually pulling a great page out of the bill clinton and the ronald reagan playbook, which is to take his case straight to the american people. to think that we thought the election was over. apparently it is not, because he is out there making this populist message about tax fairness. he's going to have a presser now with average, real americans behind him, and he's going to go out and sell his plan, just like clinton did, just like reagan did. it's actually a very good idea, and it puts a hell of a lot of pressure on the guys and gals behind me in the building to come on board. the president's meeting with a bunch of ceos this afternoon which our colleague mike viqueira just talked about.
8:41 am
and one of the major things that they're going to talk about is the issue of rate, the corporate and individual rates and what they can do on that. and we are hearing that there is movement from the republican side on the issue of rates. >> so if there is movement from that side, is there going to be movement from the left as we approach this 34-day deadline? meanwhile we have the holidays all jammed in between. >> right. >> talking about what's at stake. if there's movement from the right, will there be floousmove from the left? entitlements, earned benefits, especially when it comes to raising the medicare eligibility age. ease is si for me to say. right? do you think something like that is going to be on the table, that the left will put that out there? >> well, i think you have people, thoughtful members like my old bass, senator dick durbin, saying that everything is on the table but without being specific about it, because they'll do that behind closed doors as they should, frankly. so, yes, i think the left has a
8:42 am
tacit sort of acknowledgment that, yes, in fact, there are going to be some painful things that we have to swallow on the left-hand side of the aisle. we should. if the right's going to separate increases, we should accept certain things like testing, et cetera, because at the end of the day this is about compromise. this is also very much, thomas, about the president's ability to show leadership. you hear the republicans harp on and on about obama not showing leadership. they did it before the campaign, during the campaign, and now they're saying, mr. president, we need you to show some leadership. accept tax rate increases without forcing his own party to accept other things on our side. both sides have to share the pain to get the budget balanced and promote this theory of economic fairness. that's what he's doing out there. >> compromise when both sides
8:43 am
leave the table a little unhappy. jimy williams, thank you, sir. appreciate it. >> thanks, thomas. we are keeping an eye on the president going to be speaking there and we see the crowd that has gathered, assembled there. we'll come back to that as soon as it starts to happen. i want to fill you in on this because the tampa socialite at the center of the david petraeus scandal is going all out to prove she did nothing wrong. jill kelley hired a top washington attorney to defend her reputation. they are now considering legal action to address what they believe are leaks about the case from government officials. her lawyer has already released e-mails and phone conversations in hopes of clearing her name. ashley's got her christmas list -- she's looking for some gifts at toys r us. think you can get similar items at walmart for a lower price? i don't know. let's go see. disney princess bike -- $58. over $11 less than toys r us. wow! that's great. and assembly's free. toys r us charges 10 bucks. that's awesome! razor electric scooter. no way! it's a savings of over 30 bucks! oh -- that is awesome! on those two items -- you could save $42.98 versus toys r us.
8:44 am
that is so good! i know! see for yourself -- bring in your christmas list and see how much you could save on the brands you want. walmart. see for yourself -- bring in your christmas list is bigger than we think ... sometimelike the flu.fer from with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal. so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu in adults and children one year and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing. have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash,
8:45 am
or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. the flu comes on fast, so ask your doctor about tamiflu. prescription for flu. time for citi price rewind. because your daughter really wants that pink castle thing. and you really don't want to pay more than you have to.
8:46 am
only citi price rewind automatically searches for the lowest price. and if it finds one, you get refunded the difference. just use your citi card and register your purchase online. have a super sparkly day! ok. [ male announcer ] now all you need is a magic carriage. citi price rewind. buy now. save later. do you really think brushing is enough to keep it clean? while brushing misses germs in 75% of your mouth, listerine® cleans virtually your entire mouth. so take your oral health to a whole new level. listerine®... power to your mouth™. if you have type two diabetes, you should increase the amount of legumes you eat
8:47 am
according to a new study. beans, chick peas and lentils can decrease the risk of heart disease in people with type two diabetes. researchers say that legumes help with glycemic control and also can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. i've got one word for you -- powerball. tonight all eyes are going to be focused on the drawing for the biggest jackpot in powerball history. 500 million bucks and it's growing because ticket sales have topped a billion dollars for this drawing as people across the country are lined up armed with $2 and a dream. powerball officials expect to sell more than 100,000 tickets a minute in the hours leading up to the drawing. 42 states plus washington, d.c., and the virgin islands play powerball. today people's hopes are riding high. >> i think i would buy an island. i'd just buy an island. it would be my island. >> buy aston martin dv-9. >> i think i would probably retire, maybe live on a yacht.
8:48 am
>> nbc's mara schiavocampo following big dreamers in the big apple. how are ticket sales? >> reporter: there have been a steady stream of customers buying tickets. they've sold about $1,300 worth of tickets this morning alone, and that's happening at places all across the country. like you mentioned more than a billion dollars in ticket sales, about 547 million individual tickets that have been sold. the bigger the pool gets, the more the excitement builds, the more the tickets are sold and that cycle feeds on itself leading to this record jackpot. half a billion dollars. that's a $327 million onetime cash payout. you know, it's not only the winner that gets a little something. the state gets a dollar of every ticket sold, the federal government gets 25% of the prize in taxes, even vendors like this one get 1% of the winnings or up to $100,000. everyone has their hopes on the line here. the odds of winning tonight 1 in
8:49 am
175 million. and if nobody wins tonight that pool is going to keep growing. that's why it's gotten so big. nobody has won since october 6th. that's more than seven weeks. every week that's gone by without a winner, it just keeps growing and getting bigger. now, this pool is partly a result of changes that were made in powerball just this year. at the beginning of the year they doubled the ticket price from $1 to $2. and what did that was it increased the minimum jackpot to $40 million. they also made some changes with those balls that increase the odds of winning, so now people see they have a better chance of winning although still unlikely, a better chance of winning and a higher minimum jackpot. a lot of excitement building here. i personally like that guy's idea about an island and an aston martin. good choices for me. and i have my tickets. >> depends on if you're in an office pool. we have our show team office pool here. this is a sample of our collection of tick es so everybody gets a copy. tips for people going into pools. a lot of people around the
8:50 am
country are. >> reporter: i'm in an office pool, as well. no bad vibes but i think ours is going to win it. >> you've got a lot of nerve. >> reporter: you want to be really clear. you don't want for, for example, borrow a dollar from sun someone for a ticket. document everything. if you have photocopies of the tickets the numbers around and you know who put in and exactly how much money they put in. you want all that stuff spelled out up front. last thing you want is try to hagel that out. it could be messy and end friendships. >> i did lend some team members money. i wanted the investment in case we win. i think i'm invested in their share. >> i think you can stake a claim in their share. absolutely. >> best of luck to your office pool. we get the drawing around 11:00 p.m. thank you. and we did post our question of the day on twitter and facebook about what to do with powerball. you answered how you would spend that money, $500 million. the first tweet from angela mills, tweets that i would run
8:51 am
for office because i couldn't be bought by lobbyists and get things done for the american people. and will gara wants to help out the housing market. big house up north, big house down south, worlds richest snow bird. donate $1 million to the red cross, pay off my family's bills and get something off the mcdonald's dollar men knew with what i have left. something healthy, of course. find us on twitter and facebook. [ male announcer ] when a major hospital wanted to provide better employee benefits while balancing the company's bottom line, their very first word was... [ to the tune of "lullaby and good night" ] ♪ af-lac ♪ aflac [ male announcer ] find out more at... [ duck ] aflac! [ male announcer ] [ yawning sound ]
8:52 am
8:53 am
8:54 am
. all right. so we are keeping a close eye on the south court auditorium of the white house where president obama is expected to talk about the fiscal cliff any minute now, meeting with middle-class americans whose wallets will be impacted the most if congress fails to reach that deal. we will take you back to the white house as soon as the president begins to speak. that's going to wrap things up with me this hour. see you back here tomorrow at
8:55 am
11:00 eastern time, barring any powerball winnings. joining me ken conrad, former governor bill richardson, ed schultz and then the gre owe's perry bacon, democratic strategist keith boykin and alice stewart. that was the lid of my pen. no big deal. "now" with alex wagner is coming up next. hi, alex. >> hey, thomas. we are waiting on the president and his remarks in the meantime it's a hashtall my 2 k kind of a day as the white house pushes its plans to extend middle-class tax cuts the gop calling out president obama for campaigning while republicans campaign. we will look at the campaign 3.0 with "victory lab" technician and author sasha isenberg. some democrats say it's okay to take a dive. we'll ask senator patty murray why she agrees with that when she joins us and republicans want answers from ambassador susan rice. what are they really asking? we will discuss that when "now" starts in a mere 180 seconds.
8:56 am
t - more washington gridlock. no, it's worse -- look, our taxes are about to go up. not the taxes on our dividends though, right? that's a big part of our retirement. oh, no, it's dividends, too. the rate on our dividends would more than double. but we depend on our dividends to help pay our bills. we worked hard to save. well, the president and congress have got to work together to stop this dividend tax hike. before it's too late. now is a good time to think about your options. are you looking for a plan that really meets your needs and your budget? as you probably know, medicare only covers about 80% of your part b medical expenses. the rest is up to you. so consider an aarp medicare supplement insurance plan, insured by unitedhealthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans,
8:57 am
they cover some of what medicare doesn't pay. and could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. call today to request a free decision guide to help you better understand medicare and which aarp medicare supplement plan works best for you. with this type of plan, you'll be able to visit any doctor or hospital that accepts medicare patients... plus, there are no networks, and you'll never need a referral to see a specialist. there's a range of plans to choose from, too. and they all travel with you. anywhere in the country. join the millions who have already enrolled in the only medicare supplement plans endorsed by aarp, an organization serving the needs of people 50 and over for generations... and provided by unitedhealthcare insurance company, which has over 30 years of experience behind it. call today. remember, all medicare supplement plans
8:58 am
help cover some of what medicare doesn't pay -- expenses that could really add up. these kinds of plans could save you in out-of-pocket medical costs. you'll be able to choose any doctor who accepts medicare patients. and you never need referrals. if you're thinking about your options, call today. when you call, request your free decision guide. and find the aarp medicare supplement plan that may be right for you. olaf gets great rewards for his small business! pizza! [ garth ] olaf's small business earns 2% cash back on every purchase, every day! helium delivery. put it on my spark card! [ pop! ] [ garth ] why settle for less? great businesses deserve great rewards! awesome!!! [ male announcer ] the spark business card from capital one. choose unlimited rewards with 2% cash back or double miles on every purchase, every day! what's in your wallet?
8:59 am
there may be a debate over whether it's a cliff or a curve, but there is at least one indisputable fact -- the fiscal hash tag is real. wednesday, november 28th, this is "now." joining me today, "rolling stone" executive editor eric baits, former pennsylvania governor and current governor of "now," nbc news political analyst ed rendell and "time" assistant managing editor rana foroohar. minutes away from the president speaking at the white house, but first, let's discuss what he has on deck. the president will be talking amongst grassroots supporters among some of his most fans in the